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Tanya for Friday, 21 Shevat, 5777 - February 17, 2017

Tanya
As Divided for a Regular Year

Tanya for 21 Shevat

20 Shevat, 5777 - February 16, 201722 Shevat, 5777 - February 18, 2017


Sound advice has been offered [by our Sages] on cleansing one's heart of all sadness and any trace of worry about mundane matters, even [a sadness or worry caused by the lack of such essentials as] children, health, or livelihood.

[The advice is contained in] the well-known saying of our Sages: [10] "Just as one recites a blessing for his good fortune `[Blessed are You, G-d, ....Who is good and does good', so must he also recite a blessing for misfortune]."

The Gemara explains [11] [that this does not mean that he recite the same blessing (for the blessing in a case of misfortune, G-d forbid, is "Blessed are You, G-d, ... the true Judge"); rather, the implication is] that one should accept misfortune with joy, like the joy in a visible and obvious good.

For it, too, is for the good, except that it is not apparent and visible to mortal eyes, for it stems from the "hidden [spiritual] world," which is higher than the "revealed [spiritual] world," [whence derives an apparent and revealed good].

The latter emanates from the letters vav and hei of the Tetragrammaton [the Four-Letter Divine Name, composed of the letters yud kei vav kei], while the former derives from the letters yud kei. [12]

This is also the meaning of the verse, [13] "Happy is the man whom You, G-d (spelled yud kei), chasten." [Since the verse speaks of man's suffering, only the letters yud and kei are mentioned.

Man sees misfortune only because he cannot perceive that which derives from a higher, hidden level of G-dliness. In truth, however, the "misfortunes" are actually blessings in disguise. On the contrary, they represent an even higher level of good than the revealed good, since they originate in a higher world].

For this reason, our Sages of blessed memory stated [14] that the verse, [15] "Those who love Him shall be as the sun when it comes out it its might," refers to [the reward of] those who rejoice in their afflictions.

[G-d always rewards man "measure for measure."

What is the connection, then, between rejoicing in affliction and "the sun ...."?

Also, why are those who rejoice in affliction described as "those who love G-d"?

The Alter Rebbe now explains that since misfortune is really nothing but a disguise for the higher form of good that derives from the "hidden world," the option as to whether it will bring man either joy or misery depends on his priorities.

If he deems his physical life all-important, he will indeed be miserable, while if nearness to G-d is his primary concern he will rejoice, since nearness to G-d is found in greater measure in the "hidden world," whence derives the good that is hidden in misfortune.

Those who rejoice in suffering are therefore called "lovers of G-d," and are rewarded by being granted the vision of "the sun emerging in its might." Since in this world they disregarded externals and ignored the veil of misfortune hiding the good within, choosing instead to concern themselves with the deeper aspect of good and G-dliness lying behind the veil, G-d rewards them in the World to Come "measure for measure," by casting off the veils that surround Him, and revealing Himself in His full glory to those who love Him.

For the Four-Letter Divine Name, signifying G-d in His Essence, is compared to a sun, and the Name Elokim, signifying G-d as He is clothed and concealed in the created universe, is compared to a veil shielding the created beings from the intensity of its rays; as it is written, [16] "A sun and a shield (respectively) are Hashem (i.e., the Four-Letter Name) Elokim." In the World to Come, the "sun" will emerge from its "shield", i.e., the Four-Letter Name will no longer be veiled by Elokim, and it will shine forth "in its might" as a reward for those who love Him.

This, in summary, is the explanation contained in the following paragraphs].

For one's joy [in affliction] stems from the fact that being near to G-d is dearer to him than anything of the life of this world, as it is written: [17] "For Your lovingkindness is better than life ..."

Now, the nearness to G-d is infinitely greater and more sublime in the "hidden world," for [18] "there the concealment of His power is lodged"; and [it is also written], [19] "The Most High abides in secrecy."

[Both these verses indicate that the "hidden world" contains a higher aspect of G-dliness than the "revealed world." Since the "hidden world" is the source of seeming affliction, he who loves G-d rejoices in it, for it represents a greater nearness to G-d than revealed good, which derives from the "revealed world]."

Therefore he is found worthy of seeing "the sun emerging in its might" in the World to Come, when the "sun" will emerge from the "sheath" in which it is hidden in this world, and will then be revealed.

This means that what is presently the "hidden world" will then be revealed, and it will shine forth and glow in a great and intense revelation upon all who seek refuge in Him in This World, taking shelter in his "shadow", the "shadow of wisdom," which [is presently] in a state of "`shade'" as opposed to revealed light and goodnes.

[I.e., they find shelter and refuge even in that which presents an external appearance of "shade" and darkness, whereas the light and goodness contained in it is concealed]. This is sufficient explanation for the understanding.

[To return to our original point: When one considers that whatever appears as suffering is actually a higher form of good, he will no longer be saddened or worried by it].

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) Berachot 9:5.

  2. (Back to text) Berachot 60a.

  3. (Back to text) See Iggeret HaTeshuvah, ch. 4, where the relation of the various Worlds to the letters of the Tetragrammaton is discussed at length.

  4. (Back to text) Tehillim 94:12.

  5. (Back to text) Yoma 23a.

  6. (Back to text) Shoftim 5:31.

  7. (Back to text) Tehillim 84:12; cf. Shaar HaYichud VehaEmunah, ch. 4.

  8. (Back to text) Tehillim 63:4.

  9. (Back to text) Chavakuk 3:4.

  10. (Back to text) Tehillim 91:1.



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